Wednesday January 29, 2020
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Facebook ‘Plans’ to Bring Chat Back into Main App

It means Instagram users can people on WhatsApp and vice versa

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Facebook, data, vietnam
This photo shows a Facebook app icon on a smartphone in New York. VOA

In a hint that Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has begun taking steps towards merging all his platforms into one, the social network is planning to bring back chat right into its core mobile app.

According to a report in Engadget on Friday, App researcher Jane Manchun Wong has spotted the feature in the works.

Currently, the chat button on Facebook acts as a shortcut to a standalone Messenger app which has over 1.3 billion users.

If you do not have downloaded Messenger on your smartphone, the shortcut will take you to Google Play Store or Apple App Store.

“Facebook’s Messenger app icon would remain but instead of launching a standalone app, it would open Facebook and take you directly to a section called Chats,” the report claimed.

Facebook
Facebook’s founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg speaks at the Viva Tech start-up and technology summit in Paris, France, May 24, 2018. VOA

Facebook upset millions of users when it removed chat from its core mobile app in 2014 and created a standalone app called Messenger.

Zuckerberg is planning to merge Facebook, WhatsApp and Instagram into a single messaging service by 2020.

It means Instagram users can people on WhatsApp and vice versa.

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In an earning call in January, Zuckerberg said: “The integration that we’re thinking about, we’re really early in thinking through this. There’s a lot more we need to figure out. I think it’s the direction we should be going with more things in the future”.

He added that “tens of millions” of Android users who use Messenger as their default app would benefit from having end-to-end encryption enabled as a default. (IANS)

Next Story

Social Networking Giant Facebook Blames Apple iOS for Bezos’ Phone Hacking

WhatsApp provides end-to-end encryption by default, which means only the sender and recipient can view the messages

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Social Media, Facebook, Authenticity, Posts
The social media application, Facebook is displayed on Apple's App Store, July 30, 2019. VOA

Facebook has blamed Apple’s operating system for the hacking of Amazon Founder and CEO Jeff Bezos’ phone, saying WhatsApp’s end-to-end encryption is unhackable.

Investigators believe that Bezos’s iPhone was compromised after he received a 4.4MB video file containing malware via WhatsApp – in the same way when phones of 1,400 select journalists and human rights activists were broken into by Pegasus software from Israel-based NSO Group last year.

In an interview to the BBC last week, Facebook’s Vice President of Global Affairs and Communications, Nick Clegg, said it wasn’t WhatsApp’s fault because end-to-end encryption is unhackable and blamed Apple’s operating system for Bezos’ episode.

“It sounds like something on the, you know, what they call the operate, operated on the phone itself. It can’t have been anything on the, when the message was sent, in transit, because that’s end-to-end encrypted on WhatsApp,” Clegg told the show host.

Clegg compared the hack to opening a malicious email, saying that “it only comes to life when you open it”.

According to a report from FTI Consulting, a firm that has investigated Bezos’ phone, after that the video file was received, Bezos’ phone started sending unusually large amounts of outbound data, including his intimate messages with his girlfriend Lauren Sanchez.

Jeff Bezos
Jeff Bezos, Amazon founder and owner of Blue Origin. (Wikimedia commons)

According to Clegg, “something” must have affected the phone’s operating system.

“As sure as you can be that the technology of end-to-end encryption cannot, other than unless you have handset, or you have the message at either end, cannot be hacked into,” he was quoted as saying.

Apple was yet to comment on Facebook’s statement.

The NSO Group has denied it was part of Bezos’ hacking.

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WhatsApp provides end-to-end encryption by default, which means only the sender and recipient can view the messages. But the piece of NSO Group software exploited WhatsApp’s video calling system by installing the spyware via missed calls to snoop on the selected users.

According to leading tech policy and media consultant Prasanto K. Roy, end-to-end encrypted apps (E2EE) do provide security, and messages or calls cannot be intercepted and decrypted en route without enormous computing resources.

“But once anyone can get to your handset, whether a human or a piece of software, the encryption doesn’t matter anymore. Because on your handset, it’s all decrypted,” Roy told IANS recently. (IANS)